One of the biggest things that has hit the internet in recent years is streaming. By allowing users to enjoy a massive range of content without having to download any data, it provides a much faster and more flexible digital experience.
However, our rush towards the use of streaming has also led to concerns over issues of privacy, data cost, and the possibility of being exposed to unwanted media.
Streaming works through a provider delivering a constant supply of media to an end-user who can then enjoy the data without having to wait for the entire file to be transmitted. Such technology was initially developed in the 1990s with live musical concerts being broadcasted to fans around the world.
Whilst such technology was affected by limited bandwidth, digital developments soon meant that the internet enjoyed a rapid rise of internet radio stations, as well as highly-popular video sharing sites such as Vimeo and YouTube.
Despite these advances, there have been concerns about how streaming has affected us negatively. Many people have felt the effects of exceeding their mobile provider’s data allowance through not realising that their various apps were still streaming media.
This is often the case with music-streaming sites, as well as apps that use location-based GPS data. Even though navigation apps such as MapFactor can work offline, many users will have suffered an excessive mobile bill when travelling abroad due to roaming charges. And it can often be hard for users to know which streaming apps are draining their data, but thankfully apps such as iNetUsage can help pinpoint those data-hungry apps.
One of the most interesting developments in streaming technology has been witnessed through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter allowing the instant streaming of videos regardless of whether the user had clicked on the media.
It has been claimed that this allows users to experience a much more exhilarating web experience, and it also encourages much greater viewing figures that undoubtedly attract more advertisers. But with many social media viewers accidentally seeing the recent live on-air Virginia shooting, it raises interesting questions of how such auto-streaming sites should be policed.